What’s your reason for getting a divorce? Is it the infidelity, the drinking, the mismanagement of money, the lack of respect?
Everybody has a different reason for getting a divorce. Each marriage is different, and each couple experiences different forces and obstacles throughout their relationship. Each couple reacts and responds to daily conflict in a different manner, and each individual in the couple reacts and responds differently to those same conflicts.
Sometimes a client will come in wanting a divorce when there is, as they say, “no rhyme or reason” for the breakup of the marriage. This is usually disproved, however, after probing more into the dynamics and facts of the marriage. Psychologists call this denial. We certainly get our fair share of clients choosing (consciously or subconsciously) to remain unengaged from the problems the couple faces every day.
Remember the glitzy, famous Gabor sisters? Zsa Zsa Gabor, who knew quite a bit about marriage and divorce from her own experiences, had this to say: “Getting divorced just because you don’t love a man is almost as silly as getting married just because you do.”
Now I don’t usually go around quoting Zsa Zsa Gabor, but her way with words here sheds some light on the many relationships I’ve seen end when they don’t really need to. The number one reason I get as a divorce lawyer is that one of the individuals does not love the other anymore. Sure, one of the reasons listed in the introductory paragraph may have instigated the loss of the love once felt, but the love is lost nonetheless.
What strikes me most about Ms. Gabor’s quote is this: if you based getting into the marriage strictly on love, then it would make sense to end the marriage when the love seems to stop; but a marriage is a multifaceted relationship that cannot simply rely on one overriding facet called love. All the other facets must be examined as well to see which facet(s) need to be better maintained in the relationship. Each individual must share the focus on the relationship as a whole, and not just on the guiding emotion.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that love is not important in a relationship. It is! But you cannot expect to make up for the regular attention the other facets need and deserve. If your marriage is in trouble, get help. Seek quality marriage counseling from someone you both can trust and listen to. Just don’t give up without looking at the other facets in your relationship first.